For those of us who have been on Social Media sites for a while, a certain name should ring a bell, and that name is Tom. Yes, the Tom we are speaking of was in most cases, the first social media friend that most of us had.
Before we had followers on Twitters, before there were Facebook likes, there were things called friends, and those friends existed on one place: Myspace. Now, we should all remember what Myspace was (if you don’t, you just made us feel older), so let us take a moment and look back. Myspace was the first widely used Social Media site that people from all walks of life used. Before Myspace, social media was something that teenagers and weird people were using. It should also be remembered that at this time the internet itself was not used nearly as much as it is today. In the mid-2000’s (when Myspace came out), many Americans were still using dial-up, smart phones were primarily used by businessmen/salesmen, and Netflix only mailed DVD’s to people’s homes. When Myspace took off, YouTube was only just starting to become popular, LinkedIn hadn’t been created, and Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook only existed in thought.
What Myspace did was bring social media into the consciousness of America. Myspace was a place that allowed people to be individualistic; at the same time, it was a great place to meet new people and to stay in touch with old friends. Some of the unique advantages that Myspace had was that it allowed users to customize their own pages, and it gave people a choice for who they could put in their Top 8 friends (or 4, or 12, or whatever other number was allowed). Users could also post music on their pages. What Myspace essentially did was it allowed users to create their own digital room that could represent who they were in life. If they wanted dark emo music on their page themed to a metal band’s artwork, they could do that. If they wanted flowers and a song by No Doubt (this of course was before Taylor Swift), they had the freedom to do that as well.
For those of our readers who possess an intimate knowledge of all things social media, you might claim that Myspace was not the first social media site, and you’re right in thinking that, but that’s not the point that is being made in this article. The point that is being made is that Myspace was the first popularly used social media site. In its heyday, Myspace’s users numbered in the hundreds of millions, and those users were from all walks of life and from all over the globe.
Myspace may not be as popular anymore, but its effects can still be felt. While we cannot confirm that Myspace is the reason why Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and Facebook exist today, it also cannot be stated that Myspace had nothing to do with these others sites being created, especially with regards to Facebook. It’s hard to believe that Facebook would have been as popular as it is if Myspace hadn’t first come along and taught us how to use social media (for goodness’ sake, most people at the time of Myspace’s launch were pigeon-pecking on their keywords while they used their computers).
We will have more articles on Myspace coming out in the upcoming weeks, since this year marks the ten-year anniversary of the “ex-most-popular” social media site.